370 Jay Street is a downtown Brooklyn building that was built as a state of the art, modern, 14 story office building when it was completed in 1950. It has eight banks of elevators, ample parking facilities, 540,000 Square feet of cubiclized office space and a modern lobby with large glass doors and marble from floor to ceiling. It sits above, and is connected by escalator and elevator to, a modern spacious subway mezzanine. This mezzanine is one of the major subway hubs connecting the A,C,F,N and R trains. Originally, 370 Jay Street was known as the "Transportation Building" because it housed the New York City Board of Transportation. When the New York City Transit "Authority" was created in 1953, rather than have them move out of their offices, the city let the newly formed organization lease the building for A DOLLAR A YEAR for as long as they needed it. Although there were some small satellite offices used throughout the years, 370 Jay Street remained the main NYCTA headquarters for more than 40 years. During this 40 year period the amount of workers, the people that actually keep the buses and trains running, stayed about the same. During the same period the amount of managers grew ten-fold.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             To house these ever growing ranks of managers, the TA started to lease more and more small spaces from other sources. The Howard Building in Brooklyn ( a debacle in itself ), 1250 Broadway, 1350 Broadway and 10 Columbus Circle in Manhattan all leased space to the NYCTA during this period. Many of these offices settled into the new building at 130 Livingston Plaza when it was completed.                                                                                                                                                                       IB ImageIB Image                                                                                                                         In the late eighties the city started to build 130 Livingston Plaza, a 12 story, 456,000 Square foot, modern office building, in downtown Brooklyn. At the time we were told that these two buildings would more than meet the Transit Authority's office space needs and cut the need for leased space. Only a few short streets away from the main headquarters at 370 Jay Street, this building also has eight banks of elevators, a large modern lobby and ample parking facilities. This building is wholly owned by NYC and the total construction costs for this building were $240 million dollars. So now, at this point in time, the Transit Authority had plenty of office space in two main buildings; both of them leased from the city of New York.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then in the mid nineties the strange tale of 2 Broadway started. From the beginning the MTA REALLY seemed to want the 2 Broadway building. They didn't seem to care how much it might cost or how much waste they had to create, they WANTED IT. After all it's not their money, it's only taxpayer money, it's only YOUR money. And it isn't a small amount of change that we're talking about. When the smoke cleared, the MTA would end up spending almost three times as much money to renovate 2 Broadway, a building that they don't own, than was spent to BUILD one!  (130 Livingston Plaza )  But, hey, lets face it, while the view out of 370 Jay Street is nice...                                                                                                                                     IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           It's not as nice as the view out of 2 Broadway...                                                          IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After they got 2 Broadway, many floors of the building remained vacant even after the renovation was completed. About this time, the press started to report about the high cost to renovate a building that the MTA doesn't own, the corruption involved during the renovation and even the necessity of them having this expensive building in the first place. That's when the scaffolding went up on 370 Jay Street.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         This is also when  the full-scale campaign to let 370 Jay Street fall into neglect started. Even though many of the interior spaces at Jay Street had been renovated only years before, now it was time to trash them. Whole floors were moved out, leaving a scene of overturned desks, broken chairs, file cabinets and computers and torn up carpeting. Floor after floor was left festooned with confidential files just laying about for anyone to read. Scenes like these...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            IB Image  IB Image   IB ImageIB ImageIB ImageIB Image                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Floor after floor of prime downtown Brooklyn real estate was left vacant just to give 2 Broadway the appearance of being occupied. When they were done 130 Livingston would be only 40-50% occupied and 370 Jay Street, a building they lease for A DOLLAR A YEAR, was left about 10% occupied. All to make a building that they DON'T own, a building that will end up costing the taxpayers over $4 Billion dollars in total, look occupied.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To prevent 370 Jay street from seeming completely vacant, many underground subway reporting locations were closed and the workers were moved into 370 Jay Street as placeholders. The NYPD even moved their K-9 unit to one of the floors. Then the media campaign to sell this "eyesore" began in the local Brooklyn media. It seemed like everyone jumped on the bandwagon, including the Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz. Now Mayor Bloomberg is poised to give the building away to NYU. He also plans on giving them $100 million dollars to renovate it. "Finally...the eyesore will be cleaned up!"                                                                                                                                                                                    IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                    Can you imagine this? He is actually planning on giving a building that the tax payers OWN away to a private institution and acts like he will be doing the citizens of New York a FAVOR!! He is saving the day by "cleaning up the eyesore"!! (NYU is a private institution that is not exactly financially strapped, either)...And giving them the money to restore the building as a gift? Is this Mayor Bloomberg's money or his building to give away?  Who owns this building? YOU DO! It belongs to the citizens of the City of New York!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   We feel that there is a MUCH more fiscally responsible plan that the Mayor can enact as regards 370 Jay Street.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         A recent study, only a few months ago, concluded that the structure of the 370 Jay Street building is sound. Even the faceur of the building is still sound and with a good cleaning would look great. Replacing all the windows and removing the scaffolding,that serve no purpose anyway, would go a long way towards updating and improving the outside looks of the building. Some updating of the HVAC system and the elevators would be necessary. All told, a well spent $45-60 million dollars would have the building looking great and have it in top condition. It will be all ready for the TA managers that vacated the building, to move back in. Every homeowner that makes improvements to their property, like, say, insulating an attic, knows that it can take as much as 10 years years for an improvement to start paying for itself. This is an improvement that would start paying for itself in the first year! The renovation costs to restore 370 Jay Street would actually be less than the rental costs of 2 Broadway for a year! The MTA needs to break the 2 Broadway lease and do precisely that.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Please take a moment to write to your politicians and tell them how you feel about this issue. We have an easy to use button on the spacebar so you can do just that. We would also like you, and your friends and family, to please take a moment to sign the petition that we have created in conjunction with the Workers Family Party. The petition asks the MTA to give up their expensive office tower and re-occupy Jay Street.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The people of this city have got to rise up and demand that the MTA stop wasting taxpayer dollars on foolish whims and start spending our money more responsibly! We have to send a strong message to the MTA, that the era of throwing taxpayer dollars away, is over!